Incident Summary:

09/23/2019: Assailants abducted three Indonesian fishermen in the waters off of Tambisan Island, Sabah, Malaysia. Two of the hostages were rescued on December 22, 2019 while the third hostage was rescued on January 15, 2020. The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) claimed responsibility for the incident.




Southeast Asia

region/u.s. state:


Near Tambisan Island

Location Details:
The incident occurred off the coast of Tambisan island.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Maritime
Name of Entity Unknown
Specific Description Fishermen
Nationality of Target Malaysia
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 3
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 114
Outcome Successful Rescue
Ransom Yes
Total Ransom Amount Demanded 554452.00
Ransom Amount Demanded from US Sources 0.00
Total Ransom Amount Paid 0.00
Total Ransom Amount Paid by US Sources 0.00
Ransom Notes Unknown
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Projectile (rockets, mortars, RPGs, etc.)
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Firearms Handgun
Weapon Details
M203 grenade launchers, AK-47 assault rifles, M16 assault rifles, and pistols were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Video)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 7
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Last Indonesian Hostage Rescued From Militant Group in Southern Philippines," Jakarta Globe, January 16, 2020.
"2 killed, 2 Indonesians rescued in Sulu clashes," Philippine Star, December 22, 2019.
"Pump boats were used by kidnappers, says CP," New Sabah Times, September 25, 2019.